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Deep Snow Skiing

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

11111111111111111


Edited by slider - 1/30/11 at 4:00pm
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
From Skidude72 thread on Skiing Deep Snow. I question what is best suited for skiing deep Snow. Is it better/easier to ski the base when there is one or surf the upper layers?
Why not do a little of both?
post #3 of 24
Chances are you will be doing a little of both on most boot-top deep days. A fatter ski will help you ride over the snow, a skinny ski will seek out the base but will also be floating when lightly loaded.

If the snow is deeper than boot-top deep, you will no longer be carving on the base regardless of ski type.

Michael
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
From Skidude72 thread on Skiing Deep Snow. I question what is best suited for skiing deep Snow. Is it better/easier to ski the base when there is one or surf the upper layers?
My opinion?

The old way of skiing powder on skinny skis was harder to get good at being really good. Todays fat skis have made it easier to learn how to ski deep powder, but maybe not as good.

You've got to ski alot of powder, alot of time to get really good and to stay good.

I had as much fun skiing in the powder as I have skiing on the powder. I wish everyone who enjoys powder skiing could have experienced the feeling of skiing 3 feet of fluff on 200cm 50 mm wide skis. If you haven't done it you just can't understand what I'm talking about.
post #5 of 24
If you can take the speed, On top is the place to be!

CalG

In snorkel conditions. Steep and deep is heaven on earth.

My opinion


CalG
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
My opinion?

The old way of skiing powder on skinny skis was harder to get good at being really good. Todays fat skis have made it easier to learn how to ski deep powder, but maybe not as good.

You've got to ski alot of powder, alot of time to get really good and to stay good.

I had as much fun skiing in the powder as I have skiing on the powder. I wish everyone who enjoys powder skiing could have experienced the feeling of skiing 3 feet of fluff on 200cm 50 mm wide skis. If you haven't done it you just can't understand what I'm talking abou

Edited by slider - 1/30/11 at 4:00pm
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
If you can take the speed, On top is the place to be!

CalG

In snorkel conditions. Steep and deep is heaven on earth.

My opinion


C

Edited by slider - 1/30/11 at 4:00pm
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
I wish everyone who enjoys powder skiing could have experienced the feeling of skiing 3 feet of fluff on 200cm 50 mm wide skis. If you haven't done it you just can't understand what I'm talking about.

AMEN............The first time I went heliskiing I was asked by the owner, if you came here to ski deep in deep snow, why get LONG and FAT Ski's?

Go short and narrow and wallow like a pig in the mud ::::::

I learned to ski powder on 200 cm slalom skis all thru the 70-80-90's till shaped skis came around. Feeling your way thru that deep snow just by the feel of your foot to your boot is true skiing...NIRVANA ::

With todays fat ski's and floating on top....

For the record, my widest ski is a Rossi Bandit XX, my favorite pow ski is the Head Cyber Cross 68 waist 175 Cm followed by the Fisher RX 8 67 waist, 170 cm.

Fat ski are like dating fat girls....fun, just don't let your friends see you doing it.
post #9 of 24
In case anyone is interested in a comparison I used PhysicsMan's Sidecut calculator to see what the base-area difference is between some of my old long boards and modern powder boards.

My old Atomic skis (Alois Rohrmoser Race Skis) @ 200 cm, 85-65-74
-yields: 1397 Sq cm base-area, 53.4 M turn radius.


A couple of current powder skis:

Line Prophet 100 @ 172 cm length, 134-100-125
-yields: 1889 sq cm, 19.4 meter turn radius

Line Prophet 100 @ 179 cm length, 134-100-125
-yields: 1966 sq cm, 21.0 meter turn radius


Blizzard Titan Argos IQ FR16 @ 173 cm, 132-101-118
-yields: 1886 sq cm, 24.1 meter turn radius

Blizzard Titan Argos IQ FR16 =@180 cm, 132-101-118
-yields: 1962 sq cm, 26.1 meter turn radius


So, we've gone from a turn radius of around 54 meters down to a radius of around 20 meters and at the same time increased the ski's base-area by about 35 - 40% for modern skis.

.ma
post #10 of 24
The thing I notice the most with the fat ski revolution is the rate at which trees fly by my head. Tree-skiing has gotten ridiculously dangerous.

Tree-skiing has become tree-Tronning. Never before the fat ski revolution did I have to tell myself that "... I'm never allowed to ski that fast in the trees again. I can't believe I just did that."

Does anyone else notice how nuts tree-skiing has become in the last 10 years?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
The thing I notice the most with the fat ski revolution is the rate at which trees fly by my head. Tree-skiing has gotten ridiculously dangerous.

Tree-skiing has become tree-Tronning. Never before the fat ski revolution did I have to tell myself that "... I'm never allowed to ski that fast in the trees again. I can't believe I just did that."

Does anyone else notice how nuts tree-skiing has become in the last 10 years?
Yes.

In general, technical advances in equipment allows the average and poor skiers greater speeds and into terrain that only truly competent skiers used to venture.

I have scared myself silly a few times flying thru trees and weaving thru boulders. In years prior, I would have simply done a face plant or two at the beginning of the run on my pencil skis, and that would have been the cue for me to ramp it waaaaay down.
post #12 of 24
Seems to me that off-piste skiing speeds are approaching groomers speeds because we don't have as much snow above the ski-level as before. Before we always had loose snow flowing around the bindings, boots and lower legs - even knees and thighs.

The flotation in modern skis keeps the skier higher in the snow. This lets the skier gain higher speeds, which cause them to plane even higher in the snow, which permits even higher speeds... nice little amplification loop.

Maybe they should make ski pole baskets bigger so we can use them as a dragging anchor for speed control where we can't turn in the trees...?

(Or for that much money they should also supply a parachute with each pair of magnum skis. Now that would be cool.)

.ma
post #13 of 24
I don't know that I agree with the assumptions above. Bigger wider skis give you the option to go fast, but its just as easy to pull across the fall line, increasing Gs and sinking. With a wider ski, I can take the option to ski more weight forward and force a deeper position in the snow pack while being more stable and ready to initiate a turn. I find crossunder and extension to be easy maneuvers on wider skis, and most importantly, I can carry speed where I want it so I don't have to slog out of the flats. One thing you have to admit; there are a lot more skiers off-piste today compared to when our only choice was narrow race-designed skis. The competition for fresh tracks has become ridiculous.

I remember skiing pow on lots of different skis over the years. The hardest were my Kastle Grand Prix 205 GS skis in the old days. Narrow and not enough flex to really work with soft snow to create a platform. A few years ago on Six-stars in bottomless, I had a great time...or would have if they could carry speed where the slope decreased. Skis with a 30 meter sidecut and about 100 under the waist seem pretty good to me for flexibility. I don't have any experience on the really fat skis, so can't judge the Pontoons, Moment Comis and things like that, but the skiers using those tools seem to rip for the most part. Its really nice to ski short radius powder 8s but it seems to have fallen out of style in favor of huge arcs at high speed. Personally, I like something in-between in speed, risk and style.
post #14 of 24

Fat

Fat skis allow us to ski deep, soft powder the same way we would ski with more slender skis, just a slower speed.

If the powder is "bottomless" , lift is proportional to velocity squared X ski area. Do the math.

If you like to ski deep in soft snow, ski slowly. The width of the ski means nothing in absolute terms. If the snow is dry enough, you will sink no matter what you have on your feet. Most snow offers a bit more support than this, but one can hope.

Allow me to remember.
One of my first trips into Vail's back bowls, was during a truely epic snow fall. This was in the early 70's, but I can recall with some clarity. ( I know.. If you remember, you weren't there!) The temperatures were bitter cold, and the snow fell all the first day, through the night, and still snowing that day. I was a true hack, just a beginer. I fell,....a lot! In that soft snow, every movement as I floundered around only took me deeper into the snow, resulting before long in a crater about ten feet diameter and 5 feet deep. I had to throw skis and poles up and then climb up on them to get out. Straight line skiing was waist deep in cold smoke, stopping meant sinking to the chest. Terrible conditions! And I couldn't even imagine wide skis. ;-))

CalG
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
From Skidude72 thread on Skiing Deep Snow. I question what is best suited for skiing deep Snow. Is it better/easier to ski the base when there is one or surf the upper layers?
I had a think about this, and have read the other posts...and tend to agree with the general sentiment that there is no right or wrong answer here.

Too many variables to consider, I think the answer would change depending on the skier, the snow quality, the pitch, obstacles (ie trees, or no trees), the skis, the visability etc etc....bottom line...if you ski well, you can do both...and everything inbetween.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
From Skidude72 thread on Skiing Deep Snow. I question what is best suited for skiing deep Snow. Is it better/easier to ski the base when there is one or surf the upper layers?
The answere to this question is actually quite obvious: it depends on what kind of skis you are on and the snow consistancy and depth. If you have wide skis it gives you the option to ski ontop if the snow allows it. If you have narrow old school gear you are sentanced to ski the base if there is one. Deep down anyway. Furthermore, in old school powder skiing you need speed and therefore its easier to do if the slope is a bit steeper while skiing on top gives you higher speed since the resistance of the snow arround your boots and legs are absent making it more fun if there is not very steep.

IMO there are two approaches to skiing: technique dictated by ski or ski dictated by technique. Snow and terrain dictates technique as well but simply speaking. Most people buy a ski for a certain purpose. I buy skis for instructing, SL and GS so when its powder day I need to rent a pow ski or stick with what I have which is what I do. Others chose wider skis and compromize on the fun on the groomers. Different folks different strokes. I agree with Lars, if you havent tried old school snorkelling you cannot imagine how much fun it is. Same applies to ripping on top.

I was skiing pow for the first time in a few years in the alps a few weeks ago. I had two pair of skis with me, SL and GS. With the turny 165cm short wide showeled SL skis I could easily ski the medium deep fluff deep down but still rice up to the surface during retraction in transition. However, as snow got heavier and deeper and visiability became very bad the longer 185cm narrow GS skis became my only option. It was kind of cool because people stared at me skiing waist deep powder down a 45deg ski route totally submerged at times. When I showed them my skis they quickly scattered like I was carrying a contagious desese or something which I offcourse was !
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
I don't know that I agree with the assumptions above. Bigger wider skis give you the option to go fast, but its just as easy to pull across the fall line, increasing Gs and sinking.
If it was my own assumptions above you're referring to I'd just mention my reference to '...places where we can't turn in the trees...' (or rocks, etc). Otherwise, I'd agree we can just turn more to slow up or perhaps just yell "Dive! Dive! Dive!" and lever forward on the ski tips....

Also, on wide skis you suggest we have the Option of going Faster and that is where I was really aiming. It wasn't really an option in the past to go slower or faster on long straight skis - just to go slower or much slower on the given slope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
If the powder is "bottomless" , lift is proportional to velocity squared X ski area. Do the math.
I think this ties back to the 'Fore/Aft balance in powder' thread. Lift is also related to angle of attack.

A person wishing to ski slower can create more lift at slower speeds by angling the ski tips upward. This creates more drag at the skis and the skier will accelerate less when aiming downslope. This means their CM must be back yet a couple more degrees (vs. their feet) to remain in F/A Balance.

---
Another note of interest (to me anyway) is the increasing density of snow as you go deeper. Even in a single storm-dump of 36" the snow that fell first has time to pack down under the weight of newer snow on top of it. Since snowfall generally comes in waves we end up with many layers of un-compacted snow beneath the surface - each with its own density.

With a deft touch, each layer can be skied on continuously (at least for a while) without falling through to the next layer or planing up to a higher layer. This is important when the submerged semi-surface is a layer of thin crusty ice with very light snow beneath it. If you fall through, you sink deep and the icy layer cuts away at your shins or knees.

.ma
post #18 of 24

Tips up?

Angle of attack will help very little if there is not enough speed.

Stalling is the term!

Not skiing.

If there is enough velocity, then the excess lift will take you up. There on top, you can really turn it on.

Lots of speed is not so good in trees, which is why I like fatter skis most of the time.

I like the snow that's found in between the trees on snowy mountains.

I can't help it.

CalG
post #19 of 24
Stalling = Sinking, then Stopping, then Cursing, then Digging Out.

Around here we have a lot of Fir trees with Tree-Wells under them. Over at Mission Ridge there are more Pine trees and a bit more space between them for tree skiing.

Learned some cool 'dodging' tactics a few weeks ago- a lot like trying to avoid a Tackle by a 260# Defensive Back. Good thing there weren't any low branches or stubs on 'em... Really good snow there though. Heh, sometimes Angulation isn't just for balance and edge angle stuff. Sometimes it's for keeping your head and arms attached to your body.

.ma
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Around here we have a lot of Fir trees with Tree-Wells under them. Over at Mission Ridge there are more Pine trees and a bit more space between them for tree skiing.
.ma
Aim for the openings and you'll never space out.
post #21 of 24
I do. But sometimes those 'openings' are only about 16 inches wide and my shoulders are 20 inches wide...

Lots of tree runs are like a series of fork selections. You choose left or right, then proceed. The next choice may be left, right or middle.

Pick the correct sequence of choices and you get back into the open. Pick a wrong choice and you find yourself choosing between tighter and tighter openings - until at some point your last option leads through a tight squeeze back onto the main run - or a blind hope that the next choice will be better.

It was kinda fun, but took a lot of alcohol to get the pine sap out of my coat.

.ma
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
It was kinda fun, but took a lot of alcohol to get the pine sap out of my coat.

.ma
If things are that tight, I'd be using alcohol for more than just cleaning my coat. :
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmguy View Post
AMEN............The first time I went heliskiing I was asked by the owner, if you came here to ski deep in deep snow, why get LONG and FAT Ski's?

Go short and narrow and wallow like a pig in the mud ::::::

I learned to ski powder on 200 cm slalom skis all thru the 70-80-90's till shaped skis came around. Feeling your way thru that deep snow just by the feel of your foot to your boot is true skiing...NIRVANA ::

With todays fat ski's and floating on top....

For the record, my widest ski is a Rossi Bandit XX, my favorite pow ski is the Head Cyber Cross 68 waist 175 Cm followed by the Fisher RX 8 67 waist, 170 cm.

Fat ski are like dating fat girls....fun, just don't let your friends see you doing it.

Back in my day we walked to school in knee deep snow, uphill both ways and we liked it:

You sound like an old codger........

I can ski powder on the 205cm 1988 model Pirmin Zurbriggen SL's I have in my closet or on my 2007 Line Prophet 100's. I can ski the same terrain and snow on both it's just that the Prophets are so much more fun in any condition why would I not choose them.
post #24 of 24
wallowing like a pig is for people who like pain.

fatter/longer equal easy to ski all day long, and easy to make tight turns in trees. Yes that right longer skis are actually easier to ski in tight, powder filled trees. float = nimbleness.

also when the snow gets heavy/wind effect/suncrusted good luck on skinny short skis. While most of you will be relegated to groomers/ bumps I will be having untracked snow all day long.

12-14inches of crusted snow 280mm of tip pretty much makes ski like a groomer
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